From Picture the Homeless:
Since Hurricane Sandy, we’ve seen the best of New York on display: people coming together to help their neighbors out, volunteering time and food and money and clothes and manual labor, and collectively creating solutions to our problems.
Today, President Obama is visiting Staten Island to announce a new relief package. Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced his intent to ask the federal government for $30 billion in recovery aid. And Mayor Bloomberg has vowed to find housing for the 40,000 people made homeless by Hurricane Sandy.
But what about the almost 60,000 who were homeless beforehand? 46,000 living in city shelters, thousands on the streets, thousands more locked up or aging out of foster care or sleeping on the floors of friends and family.
Last year, Picture the Homeless found enough housing in vacant property for 199,000 people.
This is data that the city does not have - because they refuse to count vacant property.
We’re happy to share our data with the city - but only if they agree to a recovery plan that includes prevailing-wage jobs and very-low-income housing for folks who were housing-and-employment-challenged BEFORE the storm.
We need your help to make them do the right thing.
If the political will to adopt bold solutions and house 40,000 people made homeless by the storm exists, we are confident that these solutions can also help the people who were homeless before the storm. But so far, all we’re seeing is more of the same old story: the poorest and most vulnerable New Yorkers get the least out of the deal.
According to today’s Daily News, the Feds “are hiring an army of private contractors to do basic repairs” - will those be union jobs? Will low-income people get them, and will they pay a decent wage?
Please join us tomorrow morning, Friday. November 16th at 9:30AM, 116 West 129th Street (between Lenox & Adam Clayton Powell)
City officials and bureaucrats might be in charge of how all that money gets spent, but we run this city. After the storm, small community-based organizations like our heroes CAAAV and FUREE were leading the fight… while the Red Cross, who has raised well over $90 million since the storm hit, has been calling those same groups for guidance (Red Cross workers have even been calling Picture the Homeless because they’re so baffled by how the city’s shelter bureaucracy works). Members of Occupy Sandy have been training FEMA workers and the National Guard… and feeding them too!
This is our city. We have the knowledge and the power to make sure the city leverages storm relief wisely, benefiting all New Yorkers and building us up stronger than we were before.
Please join us tomorrow morning, in Harlem, outside a row of vacant city-owned property on 129th Street, as a way to highlight how the city’s not effectively using the resources it already has.
REBUILD STRONGER RALLY AND PRESS CONFERENCE
Friday. November 16th at 9:30AM
116 West 129th Street
(between Lenox & Adam Clayton Powell)
Call Sam at 646-314-6423 or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions!
PS: Check out this new article about NYC’s recovery efforts, which says “While the city has made noises about a “shortage” of vacant apartments to house the displaced, the scarcity has nothing to do with a lack of space.A recent survey by Picture the Homeless found that New York City currently has more than 3,500 vacant buildings, enough to house nearly 72,000 people as well as enough vacant lots that if developed could house another 128,000.”
POC Zine Project founder Daniela Capistrano will be at this press conference tomorrow, in solidarity with Picture the Homeless.
For more information about POCZP and Carey Fuller’s upcoming zine series by and for people living at or below the poverty line, and how you can help with production and distribution, click here.